I often pop to Brighton – it’s a pretty normal destination for anyone in London and points south. There are lots of cutey-cats in shops, like this one, for instance:
as well as some funny/rude ones, like the teatowel holder on the left of this pic below:
There’s this shop called Pussy, even though it actually seems to be a Moomin shop:
But Brighton Museum, whose entrance is in the Pavilion Gardens, has definitely had fun with cats. It started with these, a pair of ornamental cats from the 1880s, “wearing chintz kimonos and lace bonnets”. That sounds horrendous, but they look great:
with their description:
It’s strange that their little medallions should have dogs painted on them, but they do. One of the cats has become a fund-raising icon for the museum – a five foot version is planted in the shop, on a plinth. You can see that he’s nearly as big as the full height windows behind him in the photo below. And it’s even stranger that the medallion on the five-foot-tall version looks completely out of place – to me, anyway. Is it an anthropomorphic cat? Is it a dog? But the ears are too cat-like. Is it a Yeti? It might be. I took the photo, and I really don’t know. Next time I’m in Brighton, I’m going to talk to a museum attendant about it.
He’s much more recent of course: the plaque underneath him says he was named Brummel by the listeners of Southern Counties Radio in 2002. I’m guessing here, but a lot of that must be about the dandyism of Beau Brummel and Brighton – these cats are pretty dandified!
The final note, however, belongs to a street painting – it can’t possibly be called a piece of graffiti. Its on this building here, right at street level:
I’m pretty sure this one’s a cat, it definitely has a cat aura.
And it has a lovely little face.
A surprisingly cat-friendly place, Brighton.